BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 252: House Hacking (Your First Deal) & Life Hacking with Craig Curelop

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People spend years thinking about buying real estate—but many never take the first step. Not today’s guest, though! Today, we sit down with Craig Curelop, a new investor in the expensive Denver market, as he shares his story of buying his very first “house hack” and how’s he’s actually getting PAID to live for free. You’ll also learn some other creative way Craig is generating extra income each month (including renting out his car!) on his quest for financial freedom. It’s a super inspiring story with a plethora of tips, so don’t miss a moment of it!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Craig’s story and how he found out about BiggerPockets
  • What he does at BiggerPockets
  • How he house hacked his first home in Denver
  • Tips for finding a good agent
  • How to find a good lender
  • What exactly PITI is
  • How he’s generating rent from his place
  • His method of fast tracking his way to financial freedom
  • How his Airbnb system works, including how he handles cleaning
  • Tips for turning liabilities to assets
  • How he rents out his car
  • A discussion on having a frugal lifestyle
  • His future plans for real estate investing
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Fire Round Questions

Tweetable Topics:

  • "The first step to buying a property is to find a lender and to find an agent." (Tweet This!)
  • “To find the lender that’s right for you, you have to have the criteria you’re looking for.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Everyone has a unique advantage in their life.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Craig

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.
    Don Spafford Investor from Idaho Falls, ID
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Good for you Craig! Living the dream. If I could only go back in time and do the same when I was your age. Congrats on getting a job at BP too. That’s awesome. If I would be able to move there that’s where I would go too.
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks, Don! Glad you enjoyed the podcast. I’m not quite sure if what I am doing constitutes as “living the dream” haha. But I do enjoy it and am hoping to be on my way to “living the dream” as soon as I can.
    Cam Jimmy Investor from Anchorage, AK
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks for the podcast Craig! I have a question about your B n’ B… What do you provide for your guests? for example… cable TV? breakfast? just a bed and a room only? My wife and I have been thinking about doing something similar and we’re wondering what would work and what wouldn’t. Anyways, any ideas would help. Thank you -Cam
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Hey Cam, Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it. So I’ve stayed at a bunch of AirBnb’s as well as hosting and honestly, every place is different. I offer a private bedroom. There is an extremely comfortable queen-sized bed that sleeps 2, there’s 4 very comfortable pillows as well as a clean towel for each guest. I have a basket of goodies which include a couple of water bottles, oatmeal, and coffee/tea that can be made with Keurig. Essentially, just the basics. Nothing too fancy.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great interview Craig!
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks, Andrew! Glad you liked it!
    Melissa Romano Real Estate Agent from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great interview! One of my favorite episodes! I smiled the entire time I listened because it’s all so genius. And because I was eating homemade avocado toast.
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks, Melissa! I’m really happy you enjoyed it. I also hope you enjoyed your avocado toast :). As much as they rag on it…. it is pretty good.
    Kim Stofan Realtor from Sacramento, CA
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Love your enthusiasm, Craig! I wish I could time travel and start house hacking with my first home again! Glad you are having success. I loved the quote: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!”
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks, Kim! I am glad you liked it! I try to live by that quote and it’s proven to work nicely so far. Just need to keep on living it :).
    Yuttana Chawengsub Rental Property Investor from Topeka, KS
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thank you for sharing this. Very inspiring. Another great episode.
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks, Yuttana! Glad you enjoyed this one :).
    Adam Spencer from Ypsilanti, MI
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great podcast as always guys!! Love when you are ragging on each other. Craig, I want to hear more about the Turo experience. I am wanting to do this and am wanting more info before I try it.
    Craig Curelop Real Estate Agent from Denver, CO
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Hey Adam – Thanks for listening! I’m glad you liked the podcast. Turo has been pretty good. Though, it is definitely seasonal. More so than AirBnb. In the summer months, I was booked every single day. There was a point where I went 6 weeks without my car. Turo started to cool with the weather. Now, I rent it out probably for ~7 days a month… which is better than nothing. I would not advice purchasing a car for the sole purpose of renting it out on Turo. Because you are still purchasing a depreciating asset that you will likely have a payment on. For me, I purchased my car with cash so my only significant monthly payment is insurance and I set aside $100 a month for reserves. This is beneficial to me because I do like having a car, but do not use it regularly. Hope this makes sense!
    Michael Ehmann Rental Property Investor from Atlanta, GA
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Craig – great show! I’m in a similar stage of life: a couple years out of school, and I just recently brought my first property (because I was tired of giving someone else ~$1000/month in rent). I house-hacked it by adding a 3rd bedroom, allowing my roommates to cover my mortgage. I actually just created my first blog post about some lessons learned from my first experience as a house-hacking landlord. Feel free to check it out and leave comments if there is anything you’ve learned based on your experience, too: https://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/10304/67648-lessons-learned-from-my-first-house-hacking-experience Also, it was very inspiring to hear about your life-hacking experience! I also haven’t considered Airbnb-ing out my bedroom, which sits empty for 50-70% of the month because I travel for work every Monday – Thursday, so that’s something I may look into in the future. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience, and best of luck with your future real estate endeavors!
    Keri Middaugh Rental Property Investor from Ypsilanti, MI
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great episode! I will have my teenage daughter listen to it :). Hey, you mentioned an app that limits time spent on your phone. What’s the name of it? Thank you!
    TITUS LENNON from Lakeland, Florida
    Replied about 3 years ago
    They referred to the app as “Moment”, so yeah, I think it’s called moment.
    TITUS LENNON from Lakeland, Florida
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Hey Brandon, GREAT PODCAST. I listen to you guys everyday and it’s doing wonders with my mentality on how to approach real estate investing and life in general. I’ve been telling everybody I know about this site lol. Question, have you heard of a guy named John Sonmez. He’s a software developer with a popular youtube channel who’s making $10k/month through rental properties. I think he’d be a great guest for you guys to have on your show. I asked him on his youtube channel if he’s ever done an interview on bigger pockets so I can look it up, but he said he hasn’t. So I thought, maybe I should should you guys a comment because I do believe he’d be great for the show. I don’t want to put links on here incase you guys are against that. But you can look him up on Youtube 🙂
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks for the episode, guys. This would be really good for a young, single person looking to get started in real estate.
    Christopher Sargent from Newport Beach, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Just curious is this book going to be on Audible?
    Alec Lemmon from Kansas City
    Replied 9 months ago
    Craig, Got a house hacking questions for you. I’m trying to do a 5% down - convention loan on a duplex ($200,000) with my brother gifting the whole down payment to me and we would both own the property 50/50. I wasn’t planning to put him on the mortgage, just the deed.  MY QUESTION: I understand that a downpayment can’t be a loan. However, this is not a loan, although I would be giving my brother 50/50 ownership of the property. Am I correct that it is totally legal?  To receive a gift from a family member for the downpayment and to give back equity? I know the gift needs to be documented to the lender or the money needs to “seasoned” for 3 months. I feel like this is a loop hole and just want to be 100% ethical. I plan to manage the property and follow the rule of living in it as an owner occupied.  Thanks for any help you can offer!  And thanks for producing such great resources!